Hey guys! Hope you’re having a great week so far! Each month I try to share at least one blog post on military life and today is that day. One of the questions I get most from my readers is how I deal with long distance. So I thought it might be a good idea to write a post on exactly what long distance looks like for a military wife and how I deal with it. I also feel like these tips reach well beyond military life and can be super relatable for pretty much everyone!
Today I’m going to talk about:
- What long distance looks like as a military wife
- My tips on dealing with long distance
- This super cute outfit because you know you want the details :p
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What Long Distance Looks Like For a Military Wife
Dealing with long distance is one of those things that is inevitable for a military wife or girlfriend. Even if you haven’t had to deal with it yet, I promise you will. Whether it’s basic training, SERE (survival training), deployments, TDYs, cross countries, or whatever else might pop up, it’s rarely easy and it’s never fun. If you’ve been through it, you know the worst kind of long distance is a deployment, and like I’ve said before it’s an entirely different kind of independent. Not only do you have to learn how to cook for one again and take out the trash and take BOTH dogs to the vet at the same time, you now have to worry about bigger things. There is almost always a huge time difference. You’re constantly wondering if he’s safe; if you’re going to be able to talk to him on the phone that week. You find yourself sitting around the house not knowing what to do or how to live your life without him.
At least, that’s where I was the first time I had to deal with it. I know, you’re probably thinking “wow that’s depressing” haha but I don’t want to sugar coat it. I wish someone would have told me these things ahead of time. HOWEVER, the good news is it gets much easier! So don’t give up on me yet! Next I’m going to tell you just how I’ve been able to overcome the loneliness, the overwhelming sense of worry, and the long days.
Tips on Dealing With Long Distance
I just want you to know, first of all, that if I can do it, so can you. Before we moved to Arkansas and Kevin went to SERE for a month, I had never had to deal with long distance in this or any other relationship so I was the definition of a newbie. I was a wreck the first month of our most recent deployment, and that’s totally ok. But after that month, I started to realize I could actually do this. I learned a lot about myself and how strong I am when I need to be. Personally, I think that is one of the things that makes this lifestyle so worth it.
Deployments are their own beast, so they get their own subheading haha. So far we’ve been through one and a half deployments (a short 2 months to Germany last year and a 4 month to Afghanistan this year) and I finally feel like I might be starting to get the hang of this thing. Below I’ll list some of the things that I did (and things that I learned not to do) to help get me through:
- DO take time for yourself. The first couple of days are the hardest. If you work, and he leaves during the week, I highly recommend taking a day off. Let yourself cry and be sad. It was super helpful to get all those emotions out instead of bottling them up and going in to work. If you’d rather have something to do to take your mind off of it that’s fine too, but I definitely recommend taking some time for yourself to process it.
- DO surround yourself with friends and family. This was so important to me, especially once I quit my job (yes I quit right in the middle of his deployment). Not only is it a distraction from him being gone, but it allows you to have some much needed fun and to be filled back up with love and support. Do this as often as you can.
- DO spend time with other military spouses. There is nothing like being able to sit down and talk about it with someone who knows exactly how you feel. You’ll realize you aren’t alone and the feelings you have that you might think are irrational or crazy are actually very very normal.
- DO send him as many care packages as possible. He will LOVE this and appreciate it so much, plus they’re so fun to put together!
- DO read all the books. Devotionals, just for fun books. These will help you escape a little bit and also give you some encouragement while he’s gone. Check out this post on some of the books that helped get me through the anxiety.
- DO binge watch the crap out of some Netflix, nobody is going to judge you.
- DO come up with a nightly routine. I had a hard time sleeping while Kevin was gone, so I would try to drink some Sleepy Time tea right before I went to bed, get in bed early, and read a book or watch tv.
- DON’T expect to hear from him everyday. Phone service and WiFi are usually hard for them to come by, so don’t get upset if you don’t talk every single day. Trust me, he’s trying.
- DON’T watch the news every second of the day or you’ll be a nervous wreck. I made it a point to turn off my news notifications on my phone while he was gone and only watched local news, usually for the weather.
- DON’T sit around waiting for him to call. Clean the house, run errands, do what you have to do. Or you will drive yourself crazy haha.
- DON’T talk to him on the phone everyday. This seems silly, but it’s really one of the best pieces of advice I can give. If he is somewhere where you can talk everyday, I don’t recommend it unless there is legitimately something to talk about. Because you WILL get into a fight if there’s nothing better to talk about and that’s not fun for either of you.
- DON’T be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. Whether it’s for things around the house, questions about taxes, or just to have someone to talk to, the military community is so wiling to help with anything you need.
Temporary Duties and Training
While these aren’t fun, they aren’t quite as bad as deployments. I still recommend most of the tips above, especially if you’re in a situation where you can’t talk to each other. Something that I tell a lot of girls that come to me with questions about long distance is to write their significant other a letter everyday OR keep a journal. If you’re engaged or expect to be, it will make a great wedding gift some day, it will help you feel close to him while he’s gone, and it can help him understand how you’re feeling when he’s away. Spend time with friends, family, and other military spouses. Stay busy with work and things that you truly enjoy.
Every time we come to the end of a deployment I look back, and while the days themselves felt long, the months seemed short. That probably doesn’t make much sense to you if you haven’t been through it yet, but it will one day. Another thing I always told myself during times of long distance was if we can get through this, we can handle anything life throws at us.
Now it’s been 5 months since Kevin got home from his last deployment and I can feel how much stronger I am because of it. He’s about to leave for another short TDY and while I’m not looking forward to it, I know I can handle it. I’ve even learned to look at it as a little me time! If you’re struggling with long distance or if it’s in your future, I hope this helps you, if nothing else, to know you aren’t alone! I’d love to hear from you via email or over on Instagram if you ever need to talk! <3
About The Outfit
Of course I couldn’t go without giving you all the details on this amazing fall outfit! The top is from Aerie and it might be the softest thing I’ve ever felt. It’s so warm and cozy, perfect for when you have to be out and about on a chilly day. It’s also perfect for lounging around with some leggings and slippers. I’m wearing a size small in this and it comes in several colors! These pants are from Urban Outfitters and are SO comfy. I love the stripes and color combo for this time of year. They are a soft knit material with an elastic waist and I did size up to a medium in these. I’ve paired them with my favorite neutral booties and my go-to stiff brim hat to top it off. I’ll be sure and link everything for your convenience!
Hope you all have an amazing week, and as always, thanks for stopping by today!